Appeals Court: Judge can’t ban offender from Winnemucca |

Appeals Court: Judge can’t ban offender from Winnemucca

Nevada’s Appellate Court has issued an order saying a district judge had no authority to permanently bar an offender from Winnemucca.

John Pugh pleaded no contest to illegally using a stun gun and was sentenced to prison. But District Judge Michael Montero added an additional piece to the sentence: “Upon release from imprisonment, the defendant is ordered permanently trespassed from Winnemucca, Nevada.”

Judges Michael Gibbons, Jerome Tao and Bonnie Bulla ruled that the district court enjoys significant latitude in deciding a convicted person’s punishment and even has the authority to impose a condition prohibiting the offender from being in a certain geographic area.

“However, the state does not identify any statute, and we are not aware of one, that authorizes the district court to permanently trespass an offender from part or all of the state once he has expired his sentence,” they wrote.

Therefore, the judges ordered that stricken from Pugh’s judgment of conviction because the prohibition was beyond the district court’s authority and an abuse of discretion.